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Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Sonar 2087 sets (a) have been and (b) are scheduled to be ordered for Royal Navy vessels; and how many vessels, broken down by class, are to be fitted with them. [111311]

Six Sonar 2087 ship sets have been ordered and a further six are planned to be ordered. It is planned to fit all 12 to Type 23 Frigates. There are at present no plans to fit Sonar 2087 to any other Royal Navy vessels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the continuation in service of each of the (a) batch 3 Type-22 and (b) Type-23 frigates. [111315]

At present the Royal Navys Type 22 and Type 23 Frigates are scheduled to remain in service until around the middle of the next decade from which point they will be progressively withdrawn.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) destroyers and (b) frigates which (i) are and (ii) are not fully operational together with the reasons for non-availability of each of the non-operational vessels. [111318]

The Royal Navy has 31 frigates and destroyers, of which 26 (± 1) are normally folly operational in Fleet time and available for tasking, and five in deep maintenance. Additionally, HMS Nottingham is currently being repaired following her grounding in July 2002.(i) Frigates and destroyers available for tasking are:


  • HMS Cardiff
  • HMS Newcastle
  • HMS Glasgow
  • HMS Southampton
  • HMS Liverpool
  • HMS Manchester
  • HMS Edinburgh
  • HMS York


  • HMS Cornwall
  • HMS Cumberland
  • HMS Chatham
  • HMS Norfolk
  • HMS Argyll
  • HMS Marlborough
  • HMS Lancaster
  • HMS Iron Duke
  • HMS Westminster
  • HMS Northumberland
  • HMS Richmond
  • HMS Grafton
  • HMS Sutherland
  • HMS Somerset
  • HMS Kent
  • HMS Portland
  • HMS St. Albans

(ii) Frigates and destroyers not available for tasking are:

Reason for non-availability

HMS ExeterUpkeep maintenance in dry dock
HMS GloucesterJust started conducting Sea Acceptance Trails
HMS NottinghamDry dock undergoing repair work following grounding
HMS CambeltownNearing completion of Sea Acceptance Trials
HMS MonmouthMid-way through Sea Acceptance Trials
HMS MontroseUpkeep maintenance in dry dock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what lessons he has drawn from Royal Navy operations in the Gulf in respect of (a) the number of escort vessels required to safeguard large units and (b) tactics to ensure security against suicide attacks against warships. [111332]

A process is in hand to gather all the lessons learned from recent Royal Navy operations and the conflict in the Gulf region.